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How it all started

the story

1995. The Netherlands was sparsely connected to the internet. Many websites were not there yet. The first email Jurriaan received was from Simon. "Do you receive this?"


The first websites

Simon was around when the internet was founded. He must have been one of the first to start Netscape Navigator in the Netherlands. Only there was not much to do. Everything was coded by hand and the first websites were about creating websites. Simon taught himself how to program. A boy's hobby. His English teacher pointed him to a competition for high school students worldwide. "Create an educational website" was the assignment. ThinkQuest. And he won. At the age of sixteen he traveled to the USA and received his prize, a scholarship. When he came home, a real welcome committee of press and media awaited him, with the self-proclaimed highlight an acte de presence in the late night show of Peter Jan Rens. (Anyone who still has recordings of them can register. The tapes are missing, namely.) As a result of this attention, people from all over the Netherlands called whether Simon could not also build a website for them. And that's how Brace IT was born: a sole proprietorship for websites and database applications. The internet was booming.


With his scholarship, Simon traveled to Groningen to study Industrial Engineering Sciences. At that time, he especially wanted to become a manager. Or so. This was also true for his high school friend Jurriaan. That is why he also chose Groningen and business administration. Jurriaan had learned HTML from Simon and also built websites from the age of fourteen. The first was one about the Beastie Boys. The magic of the Internet and its associated possibilities gripped him. Moreover, it turned out to be a nice extra income during the study. Jurriaan decided to name his company Terrace. The source of inspiration for the name was the painting above his sofa. When things got complicated, Simon came into the picture. Two friends worked, studied and lived together. And together they conquered a piece of internet land.


Made in China

At the end of their careers studies, an internship period approached. Initially for Jurriaan and Simon. Simon went to the West, while Jurriaan went far East: China. On a brave late summer afternoon in the Noorderplantsoen, Simon and Jurriaan decided that it would be useful to join forces. Then they did not both have to order new stationery and from time to time they could answer the phone for each other. Then they remained accessible to customers, even in the Far East. There, at that time, the name iWink was coined. Terrace and Brace IT were now a thing of the past. It's 2002, and the aftershocks from the bursting of the Internet bubble are still palpable. But Simon and Jurriaan continue to build on iWink and meanwhile graduate.

Floor covering, very important

Office space was needed to conquer Groningen. This was found on the Bieslookstraat. The first big decision the men made together was which floor covering was to come. It became the cheapest. The office was furnished with desks, chairs, computers, telephones and a coffee maker. And a fax for the signed offers. They started without a preconceived master plan, but with a healthy dose of work ethic and belief in their own abilities. The main strength: what was made was really good. And as the most important goal: above all, have a lot of fun.

The beginning is there

The first big assignment, there is a difference of opinion. Both Jurriaan and Simon remember their own small victories in the early days of iWink. The fax that suddenly started to rattle and spat out a large assignment for a concept of its own, ismijnhuis.nl. The offer came from Meeùs. There were running back and forth across corridors, beers were pulled open. The order for making Daarom Groningen was also concluded with a beer on the sunny industrial estate on the Bieslookstraat. And the client of the Province of Groningen is still a customer.

Almost famous

We work hard, laugh a lot and make beautiful things. They tackle everything. The customer base is growing, the assignments are growing, the turnover is growing. Interns are hired. A little later they start working and iWink has staff. Slowly it is time to move to a larger accommodation. People have a good feeling about "the guys from iWink". iWink is slowly becoming better known in the Northern Netherlands. Competitors are getting restless. "How do these guys do that?"


The growth in customers and assignments requires a larger team. New iWinkers are carefully selected. They must have passion. Because only then will you deliver the quality and service that iWink strives for. A close team of specialists is created. New challenges are coming their way.

The team moves to the 'Mediacentrale'. iWink continues to grow.



iWink is unstoppable with this team. Customers who request more from iWink than ever before report themselves. As a result, new iWinkers are welcomed every quarter. To continue to guarantee quality, to maintain the service level, to guarantee the pleasure of everyone. Customers are still the most important thing. Delivering a flawless project, figuring out a PHP mystery late into the night, creating solutions that make a serious difference. Bug fixes in minutes. And proudly report this to the customer. That makes iWink strong.

Any process that takes place more than twice a week is automated. Invoices, quotations, time sheets, making appointments, keeping communication. Slightly motivated by laziness, because "we don't feel like doing things we don't like," they take an important step forward with these innovations. iWink is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the Netherlands. In 2010, with a turnover growth of 623% (over the period 2005 - 2009), they rank 39th in Deloitte's Technology Fast50.

The growth of the team again requires more square meters. They have been looking for almost a year. Numerous properties are viewed and rejected. Too small, too big, too expensive, too far, no parking space. Suddenly it hits, in an unexpected place.

An important step is signing the contract with Vos Maupertuus. Finally found the perfect place: classy, ​​serious, but playful enough to really be iWink. Special enough to stand out. A new period begins.



A move is imminent. But moving just over twenty iWinkers and household effects without customers noticing it is not an in-between project. The preparations are almost invisible for six months. At the same time, a new house style is being prepared. A breath of fresh air blows and that means a lot of change. iWink now has several teams. From two men to almost thirty. Hundred customers. Even more websites. From friends club to real company. It takes some getting used to for everyone. The move is a challenge. Perhaps the largest yet. It was hard work, it was an exciting time, but the new office fits perfectly. The new house style too. iWink feels mature and is ready for the future. And to further conquer the Northern Netherlands.

iWink feels mature and is ready for the future. And to further conquer the Northern Netherlands.



Over the years, iWink has continued to develop its own software. Including a CMS: Web management. The heart of all their websites. Even the very first iWink website was equipped with Web management. Not many competitors developed a CMS themselves. In any case, not one with the user-friendliness and broad deployability of Webbeheer. Developments in the Internet and the movements of competitors require a new step in 2012: the iWink CMS continues under its own name: Kirra. The office is being expanded again, a new department across the corridor. A multi-disciplinary team of top players is assembled. Dedicated further development and preparing the package for new applications.

No can’t do

In the meantime, further thought is being given to the future of iWink. The landscape in which iWink operates is noisy. There is a lot of competition, the burst of the internet bubble has long been forgotten that it is almost watch out for a new one and the developments in the field of internet are moving fast. Very quick. What distinguishes iWink? The websites they build have hundreds of thousands of visits. On birthdays, drinks and parties, iWinker no longer has to explain what iWink is. iWink has become a household name. But what is a logical next step?

A master plan has gradually developed. Actually more of a vision. Shared values. Looking at quality with the same eyes. To service. To technology. To people. New ways are constantly being explored and possibilities are being explored. Making beautiful things for the most beautiful customers. Without woolly IT systems and thick reports. For a fair price. With a pragmatic, smart, business perspective, focus on solutions that really benefit customers. "Can't" doesn't exist. No iWinker you will hear that said.


Boys will be boys

In the same period, a number of early iWinkers spread their wings. They choose a new challenge or travel after their love and leave the iWinknest. New iWinkblood will join the team. It is a time of getting to know each other again. From looking and discovering again. Where is iWink located? Where are we going? Marc, a partner since 2004, also says goodbye to iWink. A decision that is made carefully and in good harmony. Marc follows his heart and continues for himself. On October 1, 2013, Jurriaan and Simon take over his shares and are again at the helm as a duo. There are more customers than ever. There is more challenge than ever. But above all commitment, energy, and the will to improve. A special organization with special people. With a unique working atmosphere in which fun is very important. In which every talent deserves space. In which quality is common. And in which the customer is still the most important thing.


We celebrate successes

Whether they are large or small. Whether you have been employed for a month or much longer. And that also applies to our work. Every go-live or further development receives attention. And sometimes also national appreciation. Because, after a number of nominations, we win the Dutch Interactive Award

for the best corporate website in the Netherlands with the website for Wagenborg. A great success and a fantastic appreciation for all iWinkers. In the meantime, we continue to do beautiful things, for customers and for charities; Stichting Momentum is sponsored with a new website.


Low threshold

We continue to meet our customers and their relations regularly. Preferably at our office. Not only online or during a meeting, but also during our Walk-ins. Events where we are really in contact with our customers and can effectively share our knowledge. That works for us and for our customers. From Walk-in to Websummit.


Fastest growing

That's Kirra. In 2016, our software will receive an FD Gazelle, making us one of the fastest growing technology companies in the Netherlands. Kirra is getting more and more users, Kirra Reporting is getting more and more traction and the development team is running at full speed.


15 years

That is now our age. An anniversary year in which we switch offices again. Everyone on a floor and a spacious kitchen for a good lunch for the team, those are the wishes. Together with former competitor MediaCT, we move to the Scheepvaarthuis. There is no longer any competition, friendship replaces it.

Different course

From the shipping house we sail a slightly different course. Customers are increasingly choosing us because of our specific market knowledge and the digital solutions we create for comparable organizations. We then opt for a specific industry approach within healthcare, housing associations, corporate B2B and education.

New office iWink

Kirra Annual Report has now become Kirra Reporting and Kirra itself is also getting a new corporate identity.

Packages strategy

Kirra also focuses. She supplies standard packages and iWink then tailors them. A golden combination. The 'packages strategy' is born. A fresh breeze is blowing. Our corporate identity is being renewed, the new strategy is being rolled out and our old, trusted pay-off is making way for a new one. Doing more with the internet is becoming Smart digital communication.


Safety. Privacy.

Matters that have occupied us and our customers for years. And now also the government. This will come together in European legislation in 2018, and the GDPR will be introduced. A good case. The Walk-ins make way for a new event for customers, the 'But, how then?' Seminar. We help our customers to translate their digital strategy within the organization. The aim: "How? To do! '


Data security. Our way of life.

Since the beginning, digital security has been our way of life. It is therefore not surprising that customers where data security is essential have been building on and with us for years. This is awarded with the ISO 27001 certification, the globally recognized standard for information security.

ISO certificate delivery


The barriers to information security may be sky high, but when it comes to the digital accessibility of websites for people with a disability, we prefer to remove the barriers. In anticipation of the renewed WCAG legislation (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) that will take effect in 2020, we are already extensively preparing our customers for 2019. A good thing, which we would like to lead the way (barrier-free).


One brand that suits us well: iWink

November 2, 2020: Kirra continues under the name iWink. This means that products known under the name Kirra (Websites, Reporting, Intranet and Mailer) will continue under iWink's flag.

The reason is a blog from 2019. A story that Jurriaan and Simon read separately, but leads to a joint conclusion.

The blog is a story by well-known Mark Vletter entitled: 'My failed start-up: the 9 lessons I learned for €3 million' (Dutch). It is mainly lesson 8 that Jurriaan and Simon remember: 'Use the brand you already have, especially if it fits so well'.

The rest of the year is spent phasing out Kirra and merging the two business entities. Our customers move along with us and experience the advantage of one brand: one quote instead of two, one invoice instead of two and so on.

All in all, we look back on Kirra with pride. It has taught and brought us a lot and now brings us together again under the name iWink.


Groninger entrepreneurs prize: didn't make it to the finals, but we did get this video


Open for everyone

The packages strategy works. Customers benefit. The packages grow into mature online products. Complete, ready-made and digitally accessible websites. And they all receive - as the only one in the Netherlands - the digitally accessible certificate. Because online should be accessible to everyone.

One product turns out to be a great success: Reporting. A SaaS product for digital publishing. We sense international potential. That requires extra attention. Jurriaan shifts his focus and researches this further.

And so, after 20 years, we are still looking for opportunities for improvement and we give space to innovation. Everything based on trust and within the spirit of the World Wide Web as Tim Berners-Lee envisioned it back in 1989: open to everyone, accessible and decentralized.

Everything based on trust and within the spirit of the World Wide Web as Tim Berners-Lee envisioned it back in 1989: open to everyone, accessible and decentralized.

Still going strong

The team grows to 40 iWinkers. And continues to develop. In working method, in composition, but above all with the same passion. Passion to provide the quality and service we strive for.

Meanwhile, we continue to grow with 10% sales every year. Controlled, calm and steady.

Coincidence exists

The iWink story is the story of daring to look and dare to do. Tackle everything, see a challenge in everything. Not being afraid to make a mistake. Of belief in yourself and in others. A lot has changed in twenty years. From two boys to more than forty Internet heroes. From a handful of websites to millions of pixels. From the cheapest floor covering to a completely renovated and furnished office.

iWink team outing 2022

What hasn't changed are the iWink ideals: creating the best websites, delivering the best service and having fun in the meantime. As a full service internet partner for organizations throughout the Netherlands and even beyond. And whatever or wherever chance takes us, we will continue to do so.